So I got an email last week from a 15 year old girl named Logan who wanted to start a food blog. She sounded sufficiently crazy, keen and well-versed in the ways of the blogosphere; a perfect candidate for her own online forum. (And hey, is that a photo of her with Paula Deen?) She called it Teen Culinarian- cute, don’t you think? And she’s already doling out some good advice. Her second post tackles cranberry, orange scones with pecans, which I rook as as good an excuse as any to bake scones on a Sunday morning. You know, not for my sake, but as a personal favour to a friend. You know how it is. Splitting them open and dragging them across the block of butter because all the knives were in the dishwasher – I only do that for people I really like.
Of course I had no oranges and was out of pecans, so lemon-walnut it was. When I add any sort of citrus zest to scones I like to add it along with the butter, which I typically blitz into the flour in a food processor (not necessary, but keeps the butter cold by virtue of not being touched by warm hands). When dough is sticky like this, I pat it out into a circle on a baking sheet, cut it into wedges and then gently pull them apart before baking – that way you don’t gum up your cookie cutter.
adapted from Logan’s Cranberry-Orange Scones with Pecans
2 cups all-purpose flour (or half all-purpose, half whole wheat)
1/4 cup sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1/3 cup butter, chilled
grated zest of a lemon
1 large egg
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 cup cold milk
a handful each of dried cranberries and chopped walnuts
Preheat the oven to 375F. In a large bowl (or in the bowl of a food processor), sift together the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Add the butter and zest and pulse in the food processor or mix with a pastry blender, fork or your fingers until well blended with pieces no bigger than the size of a pea.
In a measuring cup, whisk together the milk, egg, and vanilla. Add to the flour/butter mixture and stir with a spatula until almost combined; add the cranberries and walnuts and stir just until you have a soft dough.
Pat out into a circle that is about 1″ thick on your baking sheet; if you like, brush the top with milk and/or sprinkle with coarse sugar. Cut with a biscuit cutter or cut into wedges with a knife and pull each one apart slightly to allow them room to bake. Bake for about 15 minutes, or until pale golden.
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